These thoughts are from an old Xavier Men’s Program Basketball Coaching newsletter. If you are interested in seeing their archive or signing up for the newsletter, click this link: Xavier Basketball Newsletter
Blueprint for a successful coaching philosophy–Jimmy Dykes
Coach Dykes is the former Women’s Coach at Arkansas. Prior to taking the job this past spring, he has been an analyst for ESPN and has served as an Assistant for several D1 Men’s Programs. He also spent a year as a Scout for the NBA Seattle Sonics (now the OKC Thunder).
Even though you probably won’t agree with everything, I think that there are at least a few thoughts included that can be applied to your coaching and to your team.
1) Everyday guys will beat sometime guys every day.
– High talent guys that are sometime guys will be a year of frustration.
– Key areas of recruiting: evaluation of talent and evaluation of character.
– Everyday guys go every day, every possession.
– When evaluating a player, watch how they respond in a bad game.
2) If you are not tough, you will not win.
– Do not flinch on a loose ball.
– Blow up screens.
– Do not let one mistake become two.
– “Toughness is doing what is right when it is really really hard to do what is right.”
3) If you cannot talk it, you cannot execute it.
– Players must be able to talk the action.
4) Practice for 5-10 minutes without talking.
– Will drive home the importance of talking real quick.
5) If you aren’t talking loud enough in practice to be heard in a silent gym, you will not be heard in the loudest arena.
6) Where are we scoring from? 3 key areas:
– The free throw line should be a number one priority in an offense .
– Are you scoring off of rim shots?
– Clean 3’s.
– The quality of shots of us vs. them will 90% of the time determine who wins the game.
7) How hard are your cuts?
– Be in good enough shape to still be able to hard cut in the last 5-6 minutes of the game, not just for a half.
– Cut with purpose and passion.
– Hard cuts wear people down.
8) 24/24 last final four teams have shot 32% or higher from the 3pt line
– Who is shooting your 3’s? Has a lot to do with what you shoot as a team.
– Selection of the 3: are you open? Are you balanced? Are you shooting a bad pass? Quit shooting bad passes and shot percent will rise as a team. Good 3pt shooting teams and good passing have direct correlation.
9) it is not the number of plays you have but the number of plays you can run with perfection.
10) You cannot be a great player if you avoid contact.
Simple things to always keep your eyes on:
1) Guard your yard.
2) Average teams can defend the first on-ball action, good defensive teams can defend the second
action, but only elite level teams can defend the third on-ball action.
3) ANY FORM OF SELFISHNESS MUST BE ELIMINATED, CUT OUT.
4) Leadership is backwards now-a-days. The freshmen or first year guys are the ones that have to do
things last, carry stuff off the bus, get the leftovers, etc. The greatest leaders are those that are
– How can you serve others? Get your leaders to think that.
5) What is emphasized the last 10 minutes in the locker room before a game better be emphasized
every day in practice before that.
6) When you watch your team play, they have either been taught to do that or you have allowed them to do that.
7) Good coaches can see the problem but great coaches can fix the problem.
– Great teams fix the problem right now.
8) We all need a reference point because we are either going to be ready or be rattled.
– Why is that happening?
– What do you go back to when things get chaotic?
9) Do not get bored with the basics. Shot goes up, are all 5 guys in motion?
Things not seen enough in drills
1) Not enough one on one.
2) Tremendous need in just knowing how to play the game. Need more 4-on-4 or 5-on-5 halv court no dribble. Do we know how to screen to get people open?
3) In golf, every swing you ever take should have a specific purpose. Every single time. Do we teach that when it comes to shooting? The great shooters gear their practice shots toward what they are actually going to do in a game.
4) You cannot allow outside distractions to effect practice and locker room. We cannot demand things of players that we cannot also do as a coach, As a coach, if you have junk weighing on you from outside the job, you cannot perform as a coach at the level that you need to perform. You don’t want that from your players so why want that from you?
5) Very important to raise the bar in areas of your life. Do not settle for less.